8th to 12th January, 2015 - Bayreuth, Germany

Global determinants of species distribution knowledge across taxa and spatial scales

Carsten Meyer1, Susanne Fritz2, Robert Guralnick3, Holger Kreft1, Walter Jetz4
1 University of Göttingen, Germany
2 Biodiversity & Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) & Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, Germany
3 University of Florida, Gainesville USA
4 Yale University, USA

CT5.5 in Conservation Biogeography

11.01.2015, 14:00-14:15, H 21, RW II

Detailed species distribution knowledge is vital for ecological research and conservation, but knowledge extent and gaps in global distribution data remain little quantified. We integrated ~200M accessible occurrence records with ~20,000 vertebrate range maps to analyze knowledge patterns and drivers across taxa, spatial grains and extents. Outside a few well-sampled regions e.g., in North America, distribution knowledge is coarse, spatially and taxonomically highly biased, and without careful consideration of these limitations unsuited for most research and conservation applications. Large emerging economies are particularly underrepresented, even more so than species-rich, developing countries in the tropics. Assemblage-level inventory completeness is mainly limited by distance to researchers, national research funding, and political cooperation. These socio-economic factors also determine species-level record number and range coverage, which are additionally constrained by range geometry (size and shape) but not by traits related to detectability such as body size. Our analyses highlight the need for targeted data integration and intensified cooperation to more effectively address biodiversity knowledge needs.

This is a last minute talk replacing
Thomas Matthews et al. - Habitat fragmentation and the species–area relationship

The work will be presented as poster P5.31 as well.

Keywords: Species distributions, Wallacean shortfall, primary biodiversity data, sampling bias, inventory completeness

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